Guide to Preparing Sponsored Research Proposals

From Seeding an Idea to Submission

There is no fixed rule when it comes to applying for external funding. Most important: Reach out to the Office of Institutional Philanthropy (OIP) as soon as possible. Whether to develop a research idea in its infancy, or to inquire about a fast-approaching deadline recently discovered, the OIP will do all that it can to assist regardless of the time crunch. Below is the OIP’s outline of the general timeline for developing and submitting a proposal.

45-30 days before deadline

Schedule a meeting with the OIP. The earlier, the better! The more notice you give, the more time we can take to thoroughly develop the proposal and ensure a successful submission. When scheduling a meeting, identify the program announcement/solicitation of interest. During meeting, the OIP will provide a list of common required information (available on the OIP website) and will walk PI step-by-step through proposal requirements. If applying for a federal grant: The OIP will provide the PI with a grant routing form and Financial Conflict of Interest Form, required for all federal submissions.

25 days before deadline

Identify project collaborators, organize team, and identify roles/responsibilities. Provide information on all collaborators to the OIP. If applying for a federal grant: collaborators will also need to fill out the Financial Conflict of Interest Form.

Create a proposal outline. Read program announcement instructions carefully to ensure close adherence to rules and guidelines. Proposals that deviate from these rules and regulations will be rejected. Read the program solicitation carefully and reach out to the OIP with any questions.

30-14 days before deadline

Write draft proposal and budget. Submit a strong draft(s) to the OIP for feedback by no later than 14 days before the proposal deadline. The OIP is available to assist with the development of the budget and answering questions that arise during the writing process. If applying for a federal grant: submit the grant routing form with the draft proposal and draft budget. The OIP will circulate the grant routing form to the Treasurer’s office (Post-Award) and the Office of the Dean of the Faculty for approval and signatures.

14-3 days before deadline

Work with the OIP to finalize the proposal. We encourage submitting multiple drafts to the OIP. If applying for a federal grant: submit Financial Conflict of Interest Form for PI and all collaborators.

2 days before deadline

If applying for a federal grant, this is the target day for submission. The sponsor is given 24 hours to send submission confirmation or a list of errors to address in order to complete the submission. Errors are common.

1 day before deadline

Fix errors with the help of the OIP and re-submit the application.


Office of Institutional Philanthropy

Claremont McKenna College
400 N. Claremont Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711

Phone: (909) 621-8179
Fax: (909) 621-8443

Campus Location

400 N. Claremont Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711